Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Savory pancakes

I had a moment of panic when I realized my blog post was coming up and I had no idea what I was going to write about. And, when I don't know what else to talk about, I talk about food. If you've read Reservations for Two, you know this :-)

I've been on a pancake kick lately, cooking up a big batch of pancakes for dinner and eating them for lunch throughout the week. Only, I don't like traditional breakfast pancakes. They're okay, but I'm not a big sweet-fan, so a pan-fried quick bread with a heavy coating of syrup doesn't appeal to me. I've been making a bunch of savory pancakes.

The kick started with a recipe for Vegetarian Okonomiyako (Japanese pancakes) with Spicy Mayo from Big Girls, Small Kitchen. With cabbage, zucchini, green onions, lots of eggs and a spicy topping, it was a given I would try this recipe. And I've made it a couple times, adding steamed green beans or cucumber sticks to my lunch for a more balanced meal. These are delicious and eggy and fluffy--more like a souffle than a traditional pancake.

It was a quick trip from the okonomiyako to kimchi pancakes. I love kimchi and I don't know why I hadn't thought of making these pancakes before; they're one of my favorite things to order at a Korean restaurant. If you don't know what kimchi is, it's fermented cabbage (think sauerkraut) with lots of garlic and hot chili. There is kimchi made with other types of vegetables, but the most common one is cabbage. These pancakes were good, but not filling enough for me to keep around for lunch, so I'm going to try the kimchi pancake recipe in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. That recipe has more stuff in it and I think will be more filling.

Then, I saw a recipe for Savory Parmesan French Toast. I've not tried this yet, but if I'm going to make savory breakfast for dinner (there was a T.V. show that called it "brinner," though the name of the show escapes me), why not savory french toast? The pictures look so good and with a salad, it would be a complete meal. I even have tomato jam I can put on top (as the recipe suggests).

I wonder what else I'll try before this food kick ends. If you like to cook or bake, what was the last food kick you went one? What did you eat and make? If you don't like to cook or bake, what do you wish someone would go on a food kick on so that you could eat the results?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Old Friends are the Best


By Jeannie Watt

These are awful, right?
Well, don’t tell my feet. They love these bad boys.
My trusty slippers have been through a lot with me. They’ve stayed up late to finish books on deadline. They’ve raced outside to catch the horse that escaped. They’ve gone to the clothesline to take down the laundry, even though I knew I should have stopped to put on real shoes. They’ve been there by my bedside night after night, idling, waiting for me to shove my feet into their fuzzy warmth.

The fuzzy warmth is not so fuzzy anymore, although it still seems as warm. Or maybe that’s just me not wanting to give up old trusty friends. My husband asked me about the explosion of wool on the toe of my left slipper. I have no explanation. It just appeared, but it made me realize that even trusty slippers won’t last forever.

These are my new slippers. Their journey is just beginning. They’ve yet to race outside to waylay errant livestock. They haven’t gone to the clothesline yet, or seen me through a book deadline. 

They wait beside the bed every night for me to shove my feet into their fuzzy warmth…right next to the trusty slippers that somehow still manage to find their way onto my feet.


Old habits are hard to break, old friends are hard to let go. So why do it? Do you have a trusty item of clothing that you just can't part with?


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bedding Down

In about an hour - less, if I'm lucky - I'm going to do something I've longed to do for the last four nights. I'm going to put on my pajamas and crawl into my own beloved bed.

We (my husband, our two girls, and moi) spent the last few days on the road. On Friday we shoved suitcases into the van and drove six hours to a hotel where three of us shared a king bed and one slept on the World's Lumpiest Foldout Sofa. Saturday and Sunday nights were spent fighting my husband for space in a standard-issue double bed. I love my husband very much, but we are king-size people, and I'm not just talking about our usual mattress. Putting the two of us in a double is like shoving two marshmallows into your mouth at once: it can be done, but something, somewhere is going to overflow.

niagarafallstourism.com
Monday night was quite a bit better. The hotel was in one of my favorite places in the world (Niagara Falls!), the room was big enough that the girls and hubby and I could all be upright at the same time, and the building was very nicely laid out - no mazes to run to find the breakfast room, no treasure maps required to locate the ice machine. Best of all, there were two queen-size beds, each topped with crisp white sheets and comforters wrapped in luscious cranberry-colored duvets. At last I had enough room to sprawl across the bed almost as much as I do at home. If only the mattress hadn't been so hard that it could have been used in place of a brick in a karate demonstration ....

Ah, but soon - very soon - I'll be in my own bed. In the king-size mattress that is kind of old and, yes, somewhat lumpy, but they're MY lumps. I'll snuggle down between a flannel-covered featherbed and a flannel-covered down puff. I'll tug my pillow into place (without needing to arrange five other pillows in the process) and curl up on my side and think, yet again, that traveling would be a lot more enjoyable if only I could bring my own bed on the journey.

Ahhhh. Insert a very happy smile here. No wonder I write about home and family :-)

Tell me, what do you miss most when you have to leave your home behind?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Question Of The Month: the Valentine Edition

It's (almost) Valentine's Day, which means that many couples will be taking a significant step forward - becoming engaged, getting married, or even changing their Facebook status to "in a relationship." We asked the Superromance authors: What one piece of advice would you give to these brave hearts as they bind themselves more closely together? 

Lenora Worth: Compromise! It has the word "promise" in it!

Cathryn Parry: For this one, I was curious for the male point-of-view, so I asked my husband what his advice would be.  His answer: "Like any relationship, don't be selfish.  See life through the other person's eyes."  (Yes, I married a good guy! <3

Claire McEwen:  Look for all the little things to love about your spouse or partner.  Find something to appreciate every day, and tell him/her about it.  Even if you are having a rough day and you can only find a tiny piece of good, pay attention to it.

Jeannie Watt: My husband told me something when we were first married that I have never forgotten--once something is said, it can't be unsaid. Measure your words. Make certain you're not saying something in anger you will regret later. 

Vicki Essex: It never pays to keep your feelings to yourself. Your partner knows when something is wrong; trust him or her with your fears, hopes and dreams and keep communication between you open. 

Pamela Hearon:  My advice is to laugh together often ... even in bed :-)

Tara Taylor Quinn:  Write a letter to yourself stating what matters to you most about your partner.  Include how you feel about them.  Later, when the newness wears off, go back to your letter.  Anytime you’re having troubles, go back to that letter.  On anniversaries and birthdays and special occasions, go back to that letter.

Anna Sugden: Hmm tricky one. I think my advice is to remember that no-one is perfect and it takes two to make a relationship work. I wish them much happiness!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Life Unifinished: Winner of a copy of IN HER CORNER

Thanks to all the commenters on my blog post! Sorry for the delay...

The winner of a copy of my March title, IN HER CORNER, is...

Colleen C.!


Please email me at vicki@vickiessex.com to pick up your prize!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Superauthors Keyword Recap 2014 by Rogenna Brewer

We're now averaging 450 visitors a day at  www.superauthors.com.  With almost 370,000 visitors in our history it's fun to take a look back at some of the keywords used to find us.  Here's a little behind the scenes humor for your entertainment.

Keyword Searches used to find www.superauthors.com.




homemade crystal chain
We have a lot of crafty ladies here so I'm not surprised by this one.

man wearing nude pantyhose
Okay, well it is football season.  Confused?  Must be before your time.  
Look up Broadway Joe or Joe Namath.

superromance authors blog
Of course :)

Susan Floyd super romance
Now there's a familiar name I haven't heard in awhile.  Hi Susan!

superromanceauthorsblog
Naturally.

boy(s) wearing nude pantyhose
Oh, now that's just wrong.

Guinea Pig Festival Peru
Somebody want to explain this one?

panty hose piles
What's with all the panty hose?

Chris Hemsworth gay
 Chris Hemsworth is hot.  I'm sure we've mentioned him several times without the added speculation.

Michelle Borth hot picks
Probably not going to find those here.

nude panty hose blog
I think we have Jeannie Watt to blame for the panty hose obsessed finding us.  
I do remember a blog she wrote on the subject.

shih tzu schnauzer mix
We do love our dogs.

superromance blog
Yup.

athletes wardrobe malfunction
Could it be Sonny Bill?

male sports wardrobe malfunction
Again, Super Bowl time of the year.  That was years ago folks when Janet bared her boob during a half-time performance.  She sure didn't do it here.  

Victoria Dawn Lohmann
Do  you mean our Jennifer Lohmann?

Anna Sugden penguins
Anna, did I miss your post on penguins?

super authors
Thank you!  We think so :)

Sonny Bill Williams Boxe
Are you looking for Sonny Bill in boxers?  Aren't we all.

superromance authors
You found us!

You must be a regular :)

cowboys cowboys
I don't think this needs an explanation.  Love cowboys?  We've got plenty of 'em. 

superauthors
Glad somebody is paying attention.

stack of books
We got 'em here!  We even give them away! Don't forget to enter our contest.  
And while you're at it pop over and enter mine www.rogennabrewer.com

Sonny Bill Williams tattoo
Oh, Sonny <sigh>.  We love our tattooed heroes.

schnauzer doodle
Can't decide on the breed, huh?  Just know you want a mixed schanuzer (ref: keyword shih tzu).  
I don't envy your tough decision.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Life Unfinished

If there’s one thing writers know anything about, it’s unfinished projects.

Ask any writer and they’ll admit to a good handful of incomplete manuscripts stored under beds and in computer archives, haunting them with their plot holes, not-quite-novella-length word counts and meandering narrative. It’s likely many of them were ill-conceived, half-formed ideas that sprung forth to distract the writer from their writing goals early in their careers. I myself will admit to at least half a dozen of these abominations.

Of course, stories aren’t the only things that are left unfinished in any one writer’s life. It’s hard enough for most of us to go through the motions of living—full-time jobs, cooking, cleaning, shopping, house work, gardening, parenting, pet care, personal grooming and family life—while also creating whole other worlds and spinning stories within them. And yet, we often take on side projects because as people who are natural born creators and fixers, we’re can’t put a lid on our creativity or our compulsion to make things better.

What frequently results is a pile of things left unfinished or undone--more incomplete undertakings that mock us from their respective corners of the house, tasks and ambitions that lurk in the recesses of our minds and whisper “failure” in the night.

I thought I’d share with you some of the random things I’ve got on the go I’ve yet to complete. Perhaps by sharing, I will get around to finishing them.

  1. 1000-piece puzzle: I started this last summer, inspired by my trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario. I worked on it for hours...and then my cat overturned the board and ruined much of what I’d pieced together. Now I seem to be missing an edge piece and I don’t feel as compelled to finish, knowing it could be short one crucial piece.
  2. Crochet blanket: I asked my husband to buy this for me for my birthday. The blanket consists of 255 granny squares that need to be sewn together. I’ve been steadily making these squares since August while watching TV, but I’ve only completed about 86 squares so far. Part of the problem is that I keep buying more yarn to make more scarves and cowls with. On the one hand, I’ve completed lots of scarves. On the other hand, my blanket remains unfinished.
  3. Painting projects: I am a fan of painting wooden boxes but investing the time on these is difficult when there are so many other things I need to do first. Plus, for some reason, I only have four paint colors: black, blue, white and silver. Not sure why I didn’t other colors, but it’s probably a good thing I didn’t. I still have a daily word count to make.
  4. Books: I have the highest (virtual) To Be Read pile ever. I have been halfway through Gone with the Wind for four years now. There are two other books in my Goodreads list that haven’t moved on from their places, either. I get distracted by other books, and just haven’t been inspired enough to continue those other stories. But I can’t seem to give up on any book, even if I don’t want to read it anymore.
  5. Learning to Play the Ukelele: I used to play the guitar. But having to time to practice and no incentive to keep it up since I don’t perform, I gave up the instrument. Seeing my electric guitar mock me from the corner of my office was getting to me, so I traded it in...for a handmade tin-can ukelele. Which I don’t know how to play. But at least it’s smaller and not as flashy or intrusive as the guitar. But then it occurred to me that I’d traded one instrument that I knew how to play with an instrument I didn’t. I’m regretting that now.


What is left unfinished in your life? Do you have projects you keep telling yourself you’ll finish one day? A craft you started, a job you left undone, a skill you wanted to pick up but never had time for? How do you force yourself to do that one thing? 

Let me know in the comments and I’ll randomly pick one respondent to win a copy of my upcoming title, IN HER CORNER, coming March 2014 from Harlequin Superromance. Draw takes place Friday, February 7th!
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